Learning to Teach Day

Interested in improving your teaching and communication skills?

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Teaching in a large classroom Workshop Description 

The Learning to Teach one-day conference aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools to help you become a better teacher and create a successful learning environment for your students in the classroom. You will also learn important facilitation, communication and leadership skills for your career outside of the classroom. The event is structured as a series of interactive and engaging workshops and talks. This event is particularly relevant to graduate students interesting in lecturing or TAing at the university level.  

A letter of participation will be issued after the event to all participants. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. 

Discussion Topics

The following sessions have been offered in previous years:

Designing and Delivering Effective Lectures: What are the building blocks of an effective lecture? This workshop provides the tools you need to build a presentation that successfully conveys key concepts and keeps students engaged.

Teaching in One’s Second (or Other) Language: Have you ever felt that teaching in your second language had an impact on your ability to communicate effectively with students? Have you ever thought that teaching in your second language was an additional obstacle to becoming a successful academic? Join us for an interactive talk about the challenges of teaching in English at McGill if English is not your first language. Learn what some of the related research says and share strategies for fostering productive teaching and learning experiences in this multilingual learning environment.

Giving Effective Face-to-Face Feedback: Providing students with feedback during face-to-face interactions can create powerful learning opportunities. As an instructor, how can you frame comments in a way that is constructive and helps promote further learning and motivation? In this session, we will explore both the importance of face-to-face feedback and techniques for answering and asking questions in one-on-one and larger group settings. The learning objective includes understanding principles of effective face-to-face feedback, such as: active, empathetic listening, strategic question asking, and the importance of context (e.g., student motivation, expectations, etc.).

Teaching for Learner Diversity: Universal Design for Learning: Have you ever wondered how you can create a more engaging and accessible classroom environment for a diverse student population? Universal Design (UDL) is a research-based framework for designing curricula (educational goals, methods, materials, and assessments) that enables all students to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. This session will introduce the basic theoretical framework and principles of UDL. Through interactive discussions and exercises participants will learn how to actively apply UDL within their individual classroom setting.

Grading in the Humanities and Social Sciences: This hands-on seminar will explore the unique challenges and difficulties of grading written work and student research in these fields. Specifically, we will discuss the risks of grading bias and accountability from the perspective of both students and instructors. Finally, will consider the formative and summative components of essays and written examinations as well as the advantages of using a rubric when grading.

Grading in the Sciences: In this interactive workshop participants will learn about grading and feedback in the sciences to speed up the process of grading and improve the quality of feedback. Participants will be shown how to use grading rubrics to mark both more efficiently and more consistently, whether on their own or in a group of graders. Feedback, the non-grade part of the process, is even more important in the students’ future than grading but is often neglected. Participants will be introduced to different types of feedback and shown strategies for when they are appropriate.

Concept Mapping with CmapTools: Concept mapping is a technique that is effective for engaging students in active and meaningful learning. It is also commonly used in the (re)design of curricula. In addition to exploring the range of applications for concept mapping in teaching and learning, participants in this session will create their own map using the freely available software, CmapTools.

Educational Technologies : MyCourses & Beyond: This session aims to examine how technology can enhance teaching and learning experiences at the university level. The facilitators for this session will review how myCourses and other educational technologies can foster collaboration, assist in grading and providing feedback, facilitate communication, and more. By the end of the session, graduate students will grasp the various ways in which learning management systems (e.g., myCourses) and other technology platforms can help them in their teaching practice.

Improvisation & Fun: From Old School Teaching to Co-creating Knowledge: This workshop will feature activities that can be added to any classroom at any level to make them more fun and interactive, creating learning experiences that are memorable! If you wish to add some fun to your teaching sessions which integrates co-creating knowledge, this workshop is the one for you. Participants will be invited to take part in various improv games and encouraged to reach beyond their comfort zone to discover more about themselves, human dynamics, and communications.


What have Learning to Teach Day participants say about the conference?

"All of the speakers were knowledgeable and passionate about the topics they spoke about and it was clear that they put a lot of thought into the content of their presentations and what messages they wanted to convey."

"Teaching is learning. Be confindent with what you are saying. Ask questions!"

"Different strategies to motivate students, to keep them engaged in the process of learning and to determine how they can take more responsibility over their learning and their academic success." 

"Presenters sharing their personal experience on overcoming difficulties associated with teaching"

"The importance of having a strategy to teach and of developing a constructive relationship with students that can be rewarding for both sides."

Something has to be said about Learning To Teach Grad Life blogger shares her experience after attending the day-long workshop Learning to Teach, hosted by McGill Teaching and Learning Services (TLS)


November 10, 2018

Accessibility in the Classroom [PDF]

Engaging Students Using Active Learning Strategies [PDF]

Building Community in the Classroom [PDF] 

Classroom Management in the University Context [PDF]

Designing a Student-Centered Course Outline [PDF] 

Giving Effective Face-to-Face Feedback [PDF]  

Grading in the Humanities and Social Sciences [PDF] 

Grading (and Feedback) in the Sciences [PDF] 

Improvisation & Fun: From Old School Teaching toCo-Creating Knowledge [PDF]

Teaching in One’s Second or Other Language [PDF]  


Learn to Teach Video Series

Matt Dobbs: What we teach in the classroom 

Matt Dobbs: Peer Evaluation through Video  

Matt Dobbs: Mentoring 

Matt Dobbs: Learning How to Learn 

Karl Moore: Different Approaches to Learning 

Karl Moore: Death of Classroom Hierarchy 

Karl Moore: Adapting to your Audience 

Karl Moore: Introverts and Leadership Part 1 

Karl Moore: Introverts and Leadership part 2 

Karl Moore: 5 ways of showing appreciation to people you work with Part 1 

Karl Moore: 5 ways of showing appreciation to people you work with Part 2 




Did you know that as a McGill student, your participation in many activities, such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)? Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, or explore career options. Learn how to access and leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!


McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.